Here at Mountain Cloud Farm we know the best tasting and healthiest food starts with the soil. That begins with regenerative farming practices, no tilling and focusing on feeding our soil. We grow open pollinated and heirloom vegetable varieties from trusted seed sources. We also seek to minimize our environmental impact and to grow affordable produce while also making our living from the land.
Although we are not certified organic our growing practices go above and beyond the organic requirements. This is known as regenerative farming. We feel we can make better choices about our farming practices and inputs than a government regulatory agency. By maintaining healthy soils, practicing integrated pest management and by creating a diverse growing environment that attracts beneficial insects we produce plants that are resistant to disease and pests. These techniques allow us to avoid the usage of organic or synthetic chemicals.
No Till Farming
To maintain high organic matter and healthy living soil we practice no till farming. That means: no tractors or rototillers compacting our soil and no gas or diesel fumes contaminating the ground. This technique allows for extremely high microbial soil life. We use broad forks for minimal soil disturbance on a permanent bed system which maintains soil structure and reduces weed pressure. From our experience we know that no till farming is more labor intensive per square foot of bed space than using mechanical methods. However, we feel the benefits of no till farming outweigh the extra labor cost.
Feeding the Soil
We build our soil health and biodiversity by using our own animal manures, compost, leaves, grass clippings and alfalfa from trusted farmers. Mulching protects the soil while also conserving water usage. Throughout the year we add generous amounts of compost and organic amendments when needed. These are incorporated onto the soil by hand and spread with rakes. In the late fall early winter before the snow flies we sheet mulch the beds with more compost, leaves and alfalfa.